Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sewing Hubris

1. Sewing hubris may strike at any time.
2. Just because something is possible doesn't mean it should be done. For instance, just because, days before Christmas, I learned that a tall skinny person wanted pajama pants and I have more fabric and patterns than any one person ought to, doesn't mean I should fill spare moments with a strange pattern. I did anyway.

3. Reading pattern instructions does not mean you should follow them blindly. I read the instructions. I attempted to follow them instead of just sewing pajama pants the way I've been doing for eons. I ripped out all the seams twice, and gave up on finishing them for the tall one. I would alter the pattern so it would fit a short rounded person: me.
4. Just because it is an old pattern does not mean the measurements are out of date. I assumed that the pattern from the 1980s would do what most vintage patterns, have done--shift sizes downward.  I added 2 inches to each side.  I assumed that I would have to add a diamond at the center back because I have curves and the person for whom I was making the pants in the first place does not. But wait! The 1986 pattern also came in Short, Average, and Tall, and I had used Tall. No need to add in back, just remove in front. And my, these seem roomy.
5. When the pants seem roomy in the try-on stage, they probably are. I marked the waist by tying elastic around my waist and pulling the extra fabric over the elastic until the fabric fell without wrinkles. Roomy, though.
6. Even when the waistband is elastic, it's a good idea to have a separate waistband. It is so much easier to manipulate 3 inches than 30 inches of fabric. I got this right.
7. Mark both the waistband and the pants into quarters and stretch  the waistband to fit the waist.  I lazily figured that it was elastic, and would fit, and ended up unpicking half the band and redoing it.
8. The pants are about 4 inches too wide all around, the precise amount I added. They are pajama pants, lounge pants, and  it doesn't really matter. Besides, loose pants are good when one is battling a knee wound that oozes constantly.
9. Accept it that sometimes what you sew is neither a win nor a loss.
10. The pattern you want to use will show up just after you complete the item with a pattern previously unused.
11. Perhaps I should cut and sew pajama pants that are less roomy. How often does one need pants to accommodate a herd of ferrets?